Quantcast
About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
.
CHRISTIANITY
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Persons
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Denominations
.
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Other spirituality
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions

About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Doubt/security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality/ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Abortion
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Nudism
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

Abortion access

Why do women seek abortions?

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Why women want to have an abortion:

About 43% of American women will have one (or occasionally more) abortions during their lifetime. Women's centers and hospitals perform more than a million abortions per year. Abortions are obviously in great demand. But why?

Women have many reasons for not wanting to be pregnant, and thus to seek an abortion. Many are related to:

bulletAge: Most abortions are done on women under the age of 25.
bulletMarital status: Most women seeking abortions are unmarried; many other are separated from their spouse.
bulletEconomic status: Many are poor and feel that they cannot afford to raise a child.

In a study by Torres and Forrest (1998) -- based on 1987 data -- women gave an average of 3.7 reasons for wanting an abortion: 1,2

bulletThe vast majority (in excess of 90%) of abortions are sought for personal reasons:
bullet21% feel that they do not have the financial resources to bring up a child.
bullet21% feel that they are not ready for the responsibility of raising a child.
bullet16% feel that their life would be changed too much. She might have a plan for her future (education, developing a career, etc.) that does not allow for having a child at the present time. She might be looking after an elderly parent and does not have sufficient time or energy to commit to a baby.
bullet12% feel that her relationship with her partner is in difficulty.
bullet11% feel that they are too young, and not sufficiently mature to become a mother.
bulletIn 8% of the cases, her children are grown and she does not want to start another family, or she has all the children that she wants.
bulletSome of these reasons may be influenced by:
bulletPressure from the father or from her parents to have an abortion.
bulletShe feels that she lacks the emotional and physical strength to go through another pregnancy and raise the child.
bulletShe believes that raising an additional child would short-change her existing children.
bulletShe is a student and/or without a partner; she feels that raising a child would be too difficult and disruptive at her time in life.
bulletShe doesn't want other people to know that she became pregnant.
bulletA child would interfere with her career or education.
bulletShe may fear physical abuse from a parent if they learn of her pregnancy.
bulletShe may fear being tossed out onto the street by a parent if they learn of her pregnancy.
bulletIn the case of a multiple pregnancy, the woman may be faced with giving birth to more newborns than she feels she can deal with.
bulletAbout 6% of all abortions are sought because either the woman or fetus has medical reasons:
bulletThe fetus might have been hurt by exposure to high levels of toxic chemicals, medications that might be dangerous to the fetus, alcohol, drugs, etc. They may cause the fetus to be genetically damaged.
bulletSome girls become pregnant at a very young age, when pregnancy can be dangerous.
bulletThe fetus has a genetic defect or other health problem. Almost all of the couples who find that the fetus suffers from Down's Syndrome, or a similar defect, elect to have an abortion.
bulletThe woman may develop eclampsia. This involves a sudden increase in blood pressure, and onset of seizures. The results can be fatal to both the woman and fetus.  This used to be called toxemia of pregnancy.
bulletIn the case of a multiple pregnancy -- quintuplets, sextuplets, etc. -- some or all of the fetuses will end up with various long-term health problems; some may not survive at all. Physicians will sometimes recommend a selective reduction process where one or more fetuses are killed in order that the remaining fetuses would be born normal.
bulletAbout 1% of all abortions are sought because of abusive sexual act:
bulletAbout ten to fifteen thousand abortions (approximately 1%) annually are sought because the conception occurred after rape or during an incestuous relationship, and the woman does not want to bear a child who was conceived in violence. 2

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Why women decide to have an abortion late in pregnancy:

In 2001, About 59% of abortions were performed before the 9th week of gestation; A further 19% are performed during the 9th or 10th week. A further 20% were performed between 11 and 20 weeks inclusive. These data show a gradual shift towards more abortions being performed earlier in gestation.

In 1987. women who have later-term abortions -- 16 weeks or more since last menstrual period -- give a variety of reasons for their decision. This appears to be the most recent data available. It was republished in a report by Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) & The Guttmacher Institute (AGI) in 2005, Women gave an average of 2.2 reasons for a late-term abortion:

bullet71% did not recognize that she was pregnant.
bullet48% had difficulty arranging for an abortion; it took time to raise the money; they had to first get a Medicaid card; they couldn't arrange transportation, etc.
bullet33% were afraid to tell parents or partner of the pregnancy.
bullet24% needed time to make a decision.
bullet8% hoped that a bad relationship would change.
bullet8% felt pressure to not have an abortion.
bullet6% had some major change during the pregnancy.
bullet6% did not know that timing was important.
bullet5% did not know that she could get an abortion.
bullet2% found out late in pregnancy that the fetus had an abnormality.
bullet11% gave other reasons. 3

At least some of the 11% who gave other reasons may well have have delayed revealing their pregnancies until later, so that friends and family would not try to convince her to not have an abortion.

horizontal rule

Why women decide to have an abortion very late in pregnancy:

Only 1.4% of abortions are done after 20 weeks. In 1997, only about 0.08% of abortions were performed after 24 weeks, at a time when the fetus may be viable. 2

There has been a great deal of controversy about the use of intact D&X abortions, commonly called partial birth abortions, in which the fetus is partly delivered feet-first, an opening is made in the back of its skull, its brains are removed by suction, its head collapses, and its body is removed, dead, from the woman. Pro-life information sources tend to go into great detail about the details of the procedure. We have never seen a pro-life information source describe why D&X procedures are done.

Very few abortions after 20 weeks are elective; almost all are done for medical reasons. All or essentially all medial associations in U.S. states and Canadian provinces have a gestational time limit beyond which elective abortions cannot be performed. This is typically 20 or 21 weeks. The individual associations have different rules. However, in most areas of North America, medical associations allow D&X procedures only if there is a very severe and serious threat to the woman's health, or a threat to the woman's life, or when the fetus is very severely malformed. More information

horizontal rule

References:

  1. "Abortion FAQ," Planned Parenthood® of Central and Northern Arizona, at: http://www.ppcna.org/abortfaq.html
  2. "An Overview of Abortion in the United States," Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) & The Guttmacher Institute (AGI), 2005-JUN, Page 10, at: http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/abslides/ You need software to read these files. It can be obtained free from: Information came from a report by Torres and Forrest (1988) and is based on 1987 data.
  3. Ibid, Page 13.

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

Home > "Hot" religious topics > Abortion > Basic facts > here

horizontal rule

Copyright 2002 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2007-APR-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or go to the Abortion facts menu or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.